We are delighted that we can now make available five of the case studies written by researchers across the humanities and social sciences. More will be available via this blog soon.
At the beginning of the project we had a number of aspirations for what the case studies could achieve. Firstly, of course, we wanted to show the variety of research that could be undertaken across different disciplines with web archives. Secondly, we wanted the researchers to give us feedback on the interface to the archive that the project was developing (this they did at monthly meetings) and we are very grateful to them for attending and giving their views; this process improved the interface markedly. Thirdly we hoped that some of the researchers might become advocates for web archiving among their peers.
The last is already being realised. At a conference on web archiving in Aarhus in June, no fewer than four of our researchers gave papers. Given their enthusiasm, we are sure that they will also present their work at events in their own subject areas.
The first five case studies we are marking available are:
- Online reactions to institutional crises: BBC Online and the aftermath of Jimmy Savile by Rowan Aust. Rowan examines the way the BBC has responded to the scandal, given that Savile is present in so many archived programmes and articles.
- ‘all writing is in fact cut ups’: the UK Web Archive and Beat literature by Rona Cran. Rona’s study is on the reception of Beat literature in the UK, in both academia and among the general public, at the end of the 20th century and the beginning of the 21st.
- Revealing British Eurosceptism in the UK Web Domain and Archive Case Study by Richard Deswarte. Richard reflects on studying his topic via web archives, with the advantages and pitfalls of this methodology.
- Digital barriers and the accessible web: disabled people, information and the internet, by Gareth Millward. Gareth explains how his plans for using the web archive to study what was available to the disabled had to be changed because of the particular challenges of using web archives for research.
- Do online networks exist for the poetry community? by Helen Taylor. Helen used the UK web archive to investigate poetry communities and how they interact with each other, with a particular focus on The Poetry Forum and the online presence of the Oxford University Poetry Society.